More than 100 UO faculty members, staff and students, gathered in the Great Room of the Global Scholars Hall on May 28 to celebrate the recipients of the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Awards and the Research Faculty Excellence Awards.
The ceremony marked the first time the UO’s teaching and research awards had been handed out together. The event was sponsored jointly by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) and the Office of Academic Affairs.
Interim President Scott Coltrane offered a welcoming message that echoed the UO’s mission statement and the institution’s role as a public research university committed to exceptional teaching, discovery, and service.
Coltrane described his experience handing out the Distinguished Teaching Awards to unsuspecting faculty members in their classrooms. As part of UO tradition, the acting president personally awards the prize — a distinctive crystal or myrtle wood apple statuette — whenever possible.
Senior Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Barbara Altmann recounted the history of the Distinguished Teaching awards, which date back to 1957. The awards are selected by a committee made up of previous recipients. In announcing this year’s eight recipients, Altmann read from faculty bios and award nomination letters submitted by faculty, staff, students and alumni.
Brad Shelton, interim vice president for research & innovation, introduced the 11 recipients of this year’s Research Faculty Excellence Awards. He thanked the university community for sending in a number of thoughtful and moving nominations. Recipients are nominated by their peers. The award highlights the breadth of research activities at the UO.
Incoming UO President Michael Schill made an appearance at the event. Schill, who will become the UO’s 18th president on July 1, was on campus visiting labs and research centers, meeting with students and faculty and making other efforts to familiarize himself with the UO community. He stressed the importance of academic excellence and praised faculty members for their love of scholarship and teaching.